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Doug Ford names 31 MPPs as parliamentary assistants, each getting $16K on top of six-figure salaries

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has named 31 MPPs as parliamentary assistants, with each receiving an additional $16,600 on top of their already six-figure salaries.

Ford’s office announced the names in a news release Wednesday, the same day opposition parties called for an external review into government appointments after it was revealed that at least three had personal ties to his former chief of staff.

Parliamentary assistants “support ministers with legislative and committee matters, including special projects and assignments that require dedicated leadership,” the news release said. “They also play a key role in building relationships and communicating government initiatives across the province.”

Wednesday’s announcement means there are now 13 more parliamentary assistants than there were before the cabinet shuffle.

‘The gravy train is getting crowded’

The move comes just a day after it emerged that an appointee to Ontario’s Public Accountants Council, Katherine Pal, was the niece of Dean French, who himself resigned as chief of staff Friday.

That resignation came after the premier rescinded two of four agents-general appointments also reportedly connected with French.

In a statement, the official Opposition took aim at Ford’s appointments, calling out what they say amounts to a 14 per cent raise, “while firing education and health care workers.”

“The gravy train is getting crowded,” said NDP MPP Taras Natyshak. “Under Ford, hundreds of health care and education workers have gotten pink slips, and every public sector working person will see their salary throttled to one per cent or less this year.

“Does Doug Ford’s cabinet actually need this much help? Or is Doug Ford using public money to buy the happiness and loyalty of a caucus that’s been reportedly unhappy with him?”

Here’s the entire list of parliamentary assistants:

  • Will Bouma – parliamentary assistant to the premier.
  • Lindsey Park – parliamentary assistant to the attorney general.
  • Toby Barrett – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Agriculture and Food).
  • Randy Pettapiece – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Rural Affairs).
  • Amy Fee – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Children, Community and Social Services (Children and Autism) and deputy house leader.
  • Jeremy Roberts – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Children, Community and Social Services (Community and Social Services).
  • Nina Tangri – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Economic Development).
  • Donna Skelly – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Job Creation and Trade).
  • Sam Oosterhoff – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Education.
  • David Smith – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and parliamentary assistant to the minister of Indigenous Affairs.
  • Andrea Khanjin – parliamentary assistant to the minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
  • Stan Cho – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Finance.
  • Gila Martow – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Francophone Affairs.
  • Robert Bailey – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Government and Consumer Services.
  • Robin Martin – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Health.
  • Mike Harris – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
  • Stephen Crawford – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Infrastructure.
  • Norm Miller – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
  • Jane McKenna – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Labour.
  • Effie Triantafilopoulos – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Long-Term Care.
  • Jim McDonell – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Municipal Affairs).
  • Parm Gill – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Housing).
  • Daisy Wai – parliamentary assistant to the minister for Seniors and Accessibility.
  • Christine Hogarth – parliamentary assistant to the solicitor general (Community Safety).
  • Belinda Karahalios – parliamentary assistant to the solicitor general (Correctional Services).
  • Vincent Ke – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Culture and Sport).
  • Billy Pang – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism).
  • David Piccini – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
  • Vijay Thanigasalam – parliamentary assistant to the minister of Transportation.
  • Michael Parsa – parliamentary assistant to the president of the Treasury Board.
  • Rudy Cuzzetto – parliamentary assistant to the president of the Treasury Board (Internal Audit).

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